Hoback Water Quality Steering Committee announces stakeholders and drinking water screening day

HOBACK, Wyo. — Teton County and Teton Conservation District announced today that they have selected nine community members from the Hoback Junction area to take part in a stakeholder group aimed at exploring methods for improving drinking water quality in that area.

The Hoback Drinking Water Steering Committee, consisting of the Teton County Health Department, Teton County Engineering Division and Teton Conservation District, selected the stakeholders based on the results of a survey that was opened to the public in September. The selection criteria included expressing interest in being a stakeholder, location, ability to fill one of the previously identified seats, and historical knowledge or interest in Hoback drinking water quality.

The steering committee selected the following individuals to fill open seats on the Hoback Drinking Water Stakeholder Group: Larry Huhn, Michael Trumbower, Janet Palermo, Rod Lewis, William Rode, Charles Kevin Chatham, Ty Ross, and Michael Shidner, with Mark Kelley and Todd Fitzgerald as alternates. Teton County Facilities Manager Paul Cote will represent the county.

“Not only is it important for this to be a community-driven project, but it’s also important to have the many perspectives represented,” said Teton Conservation District’s Water Specialist Carlin Girard.

The steering committee is hosting an event at Hoback Fire Station 3 on Tuesday, October 22 from 3–7 p.m. for the community to meet stakeholders and have their drinking water screened for nitrate. Those interested in screening drinking water should follow these instructions:

  1. Use a clean, widemouthed container that is approximately one quart or one liter in size.
  2. Turn on your water and let it run for three to five minutes prior to sampling.
  3. Rinse the container three times with the source water.
  4. Fill the container to 1/2 inch below the top of the container.
  5. The container does not need to be refrigerated.
  6. The sample should not be more than 30 hours old at the time of testing.

If the drinking water screening shows elevated levels of nitrate, residents will have the option to purchase a more precise test kit for $25. This kit will also test for other parameters such as coliform bacteria and fluoride.

“This event is intended to help both the public and agencies by adding data to our conversation. I also hope it is an opportunity to discuss the upcoming stakeholder process with folks that are interested,” Girard said.

The first stakeholder group meeting will take place in November. The group will meet at least four times and host at least one public meeting during a 12-month period. At the conclusion of this process, stakeholders will present recommendations to the Teton County Board of County Commissioners and Teton Conservation District Board of Supervisors on actions to improve the availability of safe drinking water in the Hoback Junction area.

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